Depending on the size of your business and if you travel to meet clients, you may find yourself requiring somewhere professional to have a meeting. If you work from home or do not have access to a conference room, here are some options for potential places to have a meeting.
A Coffee Shop or Public Library
The most cliché meeting places may be that way for a reason. While these spaces may not be ideal in some scenarios, they are usually free of charge and easily accessible to people. A coffee shop can provide a good degree of comfort while still allowing some privacy. Don’t count these options out before considering if they’ll suit the purpose of your meeting.
Colleges and Universities
Whether public or private, colleges and universities often have buildings with plenty of unoccupied rooms that can be rented for free or a nominal fee. Their large impact on the area they surround makes them easier to find for both locals and clients who may just be visiting town. Most include projectors and screens for presentations. Call any phone number you can find and ask to speak with building or office managers. You’ll likely have to speak with a few people, but you may be surprised by the quality spaces you find.
Some companies make a business out of helping people find temporary office spaces. If you want to impress a client, websites like Liquidspace or Evenues offer meeting rooms at a number of locations at a range of prices. This is an especially strong option for those who work from home who occasionally need to “wow” a client. Some spaces even have their own professional staff dedicated to helping you host clients and making it appear as a more natural office setting.
Virtual meetings can be a viable option that saves both parties travel time and saves you money on a rental space. Even many conference rooms found at the locations listed above come with equipment for video conferencing so you can make use of them even if your client isn’t present. Software like Skype and Wiggio allow you to manage your virtual meetings with ease. This is a great option for regular meetings and won’t break the bank since they can be done from anywhere. Always be conscious of your surroundings before you begin a video conference. Avoid noisy areas where there could be interruptions and make sure you have a professional or neutral backdrop.
Your Client’s Office
Don’t be afraid to ask your client if their space is free during the time you need to meet. If you are working with a more established entity they may have more resources available than you and may even prefer meeting in their space. Don’t be afraid to suggest it if you don’t have your own facilities. You can even schedule another meeting in the area as though you were “in the neighborhood anyway.” Besides having a comfortable place to meet it saves your clients a trip out of the office and may even create the appearance that you are more full service.